Trim Beans in a Flash

by in Food Network Magazine, December 18th, 2012

Green Beans
Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Green beans don’t need to be trimmed on both ends — just the stem end. For fast trimming, line up a handful of raw beans on a cutting board with the stem ends facing your knife, then push them into a line against the knife and make one long cut.

Prebiotics and Probiotics

by , December 18th, 2012

yogurt
Want to keep your digestive system healthy and happy? Make sure you’re getting enough of these important tummy pleasers.

What are they?
It may sound icky but it’s a good thing that our digestive tracks are populated with bacteria. Many of these ...

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Set the Scene: Easy Holiday Table Centerpieces

by in Holidays, December 18th, 2012

Rosemary Christmas TreesOften when hosting holiday parties, so much thought goes into ensuring that the food for each and every course is as perfect as it can be that other aspects of entertaining, like home decoration, fall by the wayside, trumped by other, seemingly more-pressing concerns. This year, no matter how casual or elegant your get-together is, set the scene with seasonal centerpieces made from accessible, everyday products, like candles, flowers and fresh fruit. Food Network’s collection of easy holiday centerpieces features 11 must-see designs that aren’t just easy to recreate in your home, but also classic ideas that can be adapted or added upon, depending on your personal taste. Check out a few of our favorite settings below, then browse the entire centerpiece guide to find welcoming scenes to complete your sit-down dinner table, plus kitchen island countertop, buffet and coffee table.

Let seasonal herbs star in more than just your holiday roast by using fragrant varieties as the focal point of your table. The rosemary trees pictured above are light, inexpensive, and add a pop of freshness to the warm indoors. For the containers, use any small pots you have on hand. The metal vessels pictured above are quite elegant, but if you happen to have terra-cotta pots left over from spring and summer planting, put them to work here.

Keep reading for more easy ideas

Creative Holiday Cooking Gifts for Kids — The Product Puree

by in Family, Holidays, December 17th, 2012

Creative Holiday Cooking Gifts for KidsComing up with creative holiday gifts for kids can be a real challenge, but to my surprise, several kids I know have been asking their parents for cooking equipment this year. Why not? Half of the tools in my kitchen are better than toys in some respects. Just this morning my son turned my trussing string into rope for his crane to lift my favorite whisk.

If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box idea that will keep kids excited about and engaged in cooking, here are a few things I’ll be giving this year:

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Next Iron Chef Logo

Bringing Home the Bacon — Critical Moments

by in Shows, December 17th, 2012

Next Iron Chef Rival ChefsThe four remaining chefs were asked to transform the much-maligned Las Vegas buffet into something worthy of Kitchen Stadium Sunday night.

After legendary magician David Copperfield pronounced that bacon was to be the main ingredient, Chef Freitag paired herself with Chef Appleman to face off against the decidedly odd couple of Chef Guarnaschelli and Chef Vigneron.

The end results brought some real highs and some very definite lows on both sides. I thought that Chefs Freitag and Appleman’s salad lacked any of the announced lime and jalapeno dressing, leaving it bland and tasteless. Their dessert called “The Elvis,” however, still ranks as one of the very best tastes of the whole competition.

Chefs Guarnaschelli and Vigneron produced two triumphant dishes in the form of bacon-wrapped bacon and sublime roast chicken. But they let themselves down by presenting undercooked leeks and a chocolate mousse that was grainy and unpalatable. It was enough to send them both to the Secret Ingredient Showdown to battle it out for a spot in the finale.

Keep reading and get an extended preview of the finale

Enter for a Chance to Win FN Dish’s Collection of Cookbooks

by in Books, Contests, December 17th, 2012

FN Dish's Collection of Cookbooks GiveawayIt has certainly been an amazing year for cookbooks by Food Network chefs, and that also goes for the many talented contributors who write for FN Dish. We have their books piled high on our desks, but FN Dish editors thought it was time to share the love. Whether you keep them for yourself or gift them to a loved one, here’s the ultimate literary holiday treat.

We’re giving away a collection of cookbooks from FN Dish contributors and Food Network chefs that includes:

You can buy them all, including Marisa’s, Hedy’s and Catherine’s books, or enter for a chance to win all of them. To enter: Tell us what your favorite FN Dish post of the year was in the comments. We’re giving away this collection of cookbooks to one lucky, randomly selected commenter.

Read official rules before entering

Pink Grapefruit-Avocado Salsa

by , December 17th, 2012

grapefruit salsa
Hooray for grapefruit season! There’s no question that the pink and red grapefruit varieties add a burst of sunshine during the shorter, darker and colder days of winter. One recent morning, my son Kyle decided he wanted to play “Chopped” for ...

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Beyond Soup: New Ways to Use Butternut Squash — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 17th, 2012

Butternut Squash RisottoChances are that butternut squash made an appearance in at least one of the dishes in your Thanksgiving spread last month, but the beauty of this slightly sweet, sunset-colored squash goes beyond traditional holiday soups and salads. Light and elegant yet still satisfying, butternut squash can be imagined in any number of dishes because it can be cooked in many different ways. Whether you puree it into pasta sauce, roast it with spices, bake it in halves, or boil and mash it, butternut squash is a meatless staple that shines throughout winter. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite butternut squash preparations below, then tell us in the comments: how do you enjoy butternut squash?

For a comforting cool-weather supper, look to Food Network Magazine‘s Butternut Squash Risotto (pictured above). Unlike many risottos, this recipe requires little hands-on time since it’s made in a pressure cooker. After just a few minutes under pressure, the garlic-laced squash turns tender, the rice al dente and the sauce thick, and it’s ready to be mixed with rich gouda cheese and peppery arugula. The secret to this and other risottos is using Arborio rice, not everyday white or brown rice; the starchy Arborio guarantees a thick, creamy final product. To maintain a wholly vegetarian meal, be sure to swap in vegetable broth for chicken.

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Chatting With the Latest Next Iron Chef: Redemption Exile

by in Shows, December 16th, 2012

Chef Guarnaschelli and Chef VigneronThe fifth season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is in full swing with now only four familiar chefs battling it out again to prove they’ve got the skills to win the ultimate prize: the title of Iron Chef.

Each chef will try to pull out all their tricks to stay in the competition but, ultimately, one chef must go home each week. Every Sunday, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest chef to go home.

Find out who went home

QUIZ: How Food Network Stars Celebrate the Holidays

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 16th, 2012

Sandra Lee

When it comes to decking the halls, you can be sure that your favorite Food Network stars have no-fail recipes, easy entertaining tips and party-ready menus to help you host your best holiday ever. But have you ever wondered how these chefs celebrate the season when they’re away from the cameras? Among them, which are known for an infectious Christmas spirit, and who prefers to spend a casual holiday enjoying non-traditional eats and drinks? Do they like to curl up in front of the fireplace with their families, or are they drawn to the hustle and bustle of the season? We recently caught up with Paula Deen, Sunny Anderson, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and more Food Network favorites to find out the answers to these questions and more, and what they told us may surprise you.

Test Your Knowledge: How FN Stars Celebrate the Holidays

Think you know how the chefs celebrate the holidays? Take this quiz to find out, and learn about their plans for this season, memories of holidays past, ultimate Christmas menus and more bits of seasonal trivia.
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